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07:23 5th July 2014

Attendance: 4,073 (326)

Rovers picked up a valuable three points on the road beating fellow promotion chasers Grimsby at Blundell Park.

Tom Lockyer's first goal of the season was enough to separate the sides in a game where Matty Taylor missed a first half penalty.

Darrell Clarke named an unchanged side following last weeks impressive performance against Lincoln City at the Memorial Stadium.

The game had a slow feel to it in the opening exchanges however it was Rovers who crafted the first real attack as Adam Dawson and Matty Taylor linked up well before Taylor's shot was deflected safely into the hands of Grimsby keeper James McKeown.

Grimsby grew into the game and a clever turn by Mariners top-scorer Lanell John-Lewis created space but caused a collision with Steve Mildenhall. There was a momentary break in play whilst the Rovers keeper received treatment but was able to continue the game.

Leicester City loanee Adam Dawson was having another promising afternoon turning Grimsby full back Gregor Robertson in knots and earned Rovers a corner which skipper Mark McChrystal could only head wide under heavy pressure.

Nathan Blissett's aerial ability was causing the Mariners issues on the first ball and Blissett flicked the ball onto Matty Taylor who drove his shot goalwards promoting a great save from McKeown before being flagged offside.

Just after the half hour mark a long Rovers free kick from Adam Dawson was flicked on by Taylor towards Andy Monkhouse but he was unable to find the target with his effort.

With under five minutes of the half to play Rovers were awarded a penalty as McKeown was judged to have prevented a clear goal scoring opportunity.

Referee Darren England pointed to the spot but only gave McKeown a yellow card as Grimsby had players back to cover.

Matty Taylor stepped up to take the penalty but his effort came crashing back off of the foot of the post with the keeper beaten.   

The atmosphere at Blundell Park definitely kicked up a notch towards the end of the half but both sides went into the dressing rooms at half time all square.

Rovers started the second half well in possession but it was a long ball from Lee Brown that created the first opportunity of the second half.

Brown's diagonal effort was flicked into the path of Matty Taylor by Nathan Blissett and Taylor's strike on the volley forced a fantastic save from James McKeown to keep the game all square.

The pressure continued to build from Rovers and they took the lead with just over 20 minutes remaining.

Lee Brown's cross from the left hand side wasn't cleared properly by the Grimsby back line and Tom Lockyer arrived late to stroke home his first goal of the season to put Darrell Clarke's men 0-1 up.

Rovers continued to press for an all important second goal and Lee Mansell tried his luck from distance forcing another decent save from McKeown before the Mariners keeper gather at the feet of Nathan Blissett.

Grimsby went searching for an equaliser and a quick pair of corners created a great opportunity for the home side. Nathan Arnold's delivery was right on the head of Shaun Pearson but the Grimsby defender couldn't find the target from close range.

The home side did put the ball into the back of the net with under five minutes remaining as substitute Ross Hannah flicked the ball cleverly over Steve Mildenhall only to be flagged offside by the referee's assistant.

Moments later Hannah had a glorious chance to make the game all level but blazed his effort well over the crossbar from the penalty spot with the goal gaping. The three points today mean that Rovers close the gap on league leaders Barnet to just four points going into two games at the Mem. 

Up next for Rovers is the visit of Altrincham to the Memorial Stadium next Saturday (21st February) before Rovers entertain Braintree Town on the following Tuesday (24th).

Grimsby: McKeown, Magnay, Robertson (Watson - 85), Pearson, Nsiala, Clay (McLaughlin - 80), Disley, Mackreth, Arnold, Jolley (Hannah - 71), John-Lewis

Unused Substitutes: Bignot, Parslow.

Rovers: Mildenhall, Leadbitter, McChrystal (C), Parkes, Brown, Dawson, Lockyer, Mansell, Monkhouse, Taylor, Blissett.

Unused Substitutes: Trotman, Wakefield, Gosling, Balanta, Harrison.


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.